By Chanel Davis
One of my favorite movies of ALL TIME is Waiting to Exhale. A movie centered around four African American women all dealing with life and love with the support of their circle of friends. During this film, each woman experienced a moment to exhale, symbolizing a moment of romantic relief. If you have every watched this movie, you know it is a whole MOOD! It also has a fire soundtrack to match!
Premiering in 1995, I can remember the day I went to the theatre to see this movie with my mother and aunt. At the time, I was six years old and had no idea what I was watching. However, I was forever mesmerized seeing how beautiful these women were, both physically and later in life emotionally!
Originally, the story of these women was written by author Terry McMillian. Later it was turned into a motion picture and directed by Forest Whitaker, who turned these beautiful bronzed queens into my image as a child how magically beautiful we black women are. I still wonder how their makeup and charisma was so dang flawless!
Each character faced a different conflict in their love life which was meant to be given from the point of view of each woman. Every individual with their own strong personality, helped to birth the imagery of how they approached their problems. Now being an adult, I have watched this movie countless times and recited each line verbatim with more emotion than the previous viewing. I have found myself able to resonate with each woman in some way over the years.
Whether having a girls night full of wine and desserts to help forget the pain of a recent breakup or a phone call to rant about how trash the dude I was currently interested really in but not yet ready to cut him off, we can pinpoint a scene in this film that will make you say to the screen, “Girl, I know that’s right!”
Now maybe not quite to the point of wanting to set my man’s belongings on fire in his whip. But close enough and may or may not have stood up and clapped in my living room from feeling Bernadine’s pain and frustration during one pivotal blazing scene. Literally!
Played by timeless industry gems Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon and the late and great Whitney Houston all portrayed these characters to perfection!
If you are familiar with each character, which one did you most closely relate to?
- Bernadine, the impulsive friend who often is reactionary from life events. Major potential to get BIG mad and take it there with no warning. Whether it is a new hair cut or new fling to help forget the last loser, she is unapologetic for simply being who she is. One who will act now and think later. A strong, straight forward personality who will be your ride or die in a heartbeat and great supporter in time of need.
- Savannah, the career-driven one who does not need a man but would not mind one. She is the listening ear and comforter in the group, all while fighting her own battles behind the scenes. She is often like many of us, she gives people the benefit of the doubt despite their history. Maybe not at first realizing possible repercussions and perhaps her own wrong doings, but better awakening late than never. A self-check of priorities and worth is often needed.
- Gloria, a firm individual who is sure of who she is but like everyone else is only human. A straight shooter who will tell you what you need to hear versus what you want to hear. Long strayed from love and the possibility of ever finding “the one”, she is hopeful in possibility but quite the enigma at first glance. She brings to the table the things everyone is thinking but will not necessarily say aloud.
- Robin, the sexually expressive one who knows she has the goods. Looking for attention and love in all the wrong places while mostly getting it without trying. With dreams of one day settling down and having the family she so desires, she realizes that our wildest dreams do not always come packaged the way we hoped. She also is not mad at being young and vibrant and getting hers while she still got it. While learning through love and disappointments, she is one who is sure to bring spice to any gathering.
Having worn all the high heels of these characters at some time or another, it is without being said one of the greatest female empowering movies of my time. I love that each time viewing this film, I am able to relate in a different way. So much so, I have named two of my cars after a few of the characters. So, if you have some extra time on your hands, and I know you do, pull up this movie with a glass of wine either alone or with your homegirls, get ready to shoop shoop sis, exhale your emotions, and let power of relatability flow!
Chanel Davis is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Chanel is the creator and operator of the Diary Of A Chocolate Girl podcast aiming to connect with chocolate girls all over through personal experiences and opinions with mild humor and a spiritual flare. Be sure to connect on IG and Facebook @DiaryofaChocolateGirl.